West Miami-Dade

Vigil will allow those grieving to remember loved ones

Those who have lost a loved one will be able to take part in a vigil in West Miami-Dade on Dec. 14.

The Compassionate Friends organization Miami Chapter will host a candle lighting event at 6 p.m. at the Miami-Dade County Fair & Expo Center Goode building, 10901 Coral Way. The group has hosted the event for more than a decade.

“We can expect tears and healing,” said co-leader Cindy Baum. “The journey for each one of us is an individual journey, but we share the commonality of a significant loss. Though we may be traveling this journey at different portions, we travel together.”

The event allows bereaved families to celebrate the life and love for a child, grandchild or sibling who has passed away.

The non-denominational Compassionate Friends Miami Chapter is a self-help organization that offers support, understanding, friendship, knowledge and hope to parents, grandparents and adult siblings following the death of a child of any age from any cause. Aside from the candlelight event, the group holds a meeting the second Thursday of every month at 7:15 pm. Meetings are held at Temple Beth Am, 5950 N. Kendall Dr. There are no fees or dues to attend meetings.

Co-leader Shelly Ellis, who lost a child in an accident, said Compassionate Friends helped her through the grief period.

“We realize how helpful it was to have other people who understood what I was going through,” she said.

More 200 people are expected to attend Sunday’s vigil. Those attending will be given a memorial candle and may place a photo of their loved one on a memorial table. There will also be inspiring poetry read by Compassionate Friends and songs by vocalist Karen Strolis-Lewe.

Ellis said this is a way to remember those who passed away.

“This is a way to honor them,” she said.

If you go

What: Compassionate Friends organization Miami Chapter Candle Lighting

Where: Miami-Dade County Fair & Expo Center Goode building, 10901 Coral Way

When: 6 p.m. Dec. 14

Info: 305-460-5760. Donations are accepted.

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